Those of you more familiar with Sealy & Milman may find Butterworths daunting. It has no commentary or case law references and no references to the rules or regulations within the commentary. It is a book which contains nothing but the relevant insolvency legislation BUT once you have become familiar with it, I promise by the end of the year it will be your reference book of choice.

Starting from now, you need to give your blue book away and only use Butterworths.

At the front of Butterworths there are two contents lists. The first list is broken down into 6 parts:

Part 1 Insolvency Legislation
Part 2 EU and International Materials
Part 3 Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986
Part 4 Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985
Part 5 Insolvency Statutory Instruments
Part 6 Miscellaneous

After this the legislation is then listed alphabetically; you will find this much more helpful when you become more familiar with the legislation. (Unfortunately the alphabetical index is not available in the thirteenth addition of Butterworths but is in the fourteenth edition).

At the back of the book you will find an index. When using the index it is usually easier to locate information if you know the case type and look up your particular topic under the case type, e.g. if you want to know if there is any legislation dealing with the books and records in an Administration, you will not find books and records in the index, but if you go to the heading Administration and then look up ‘books and records’ you will see that there is a reference.

Butterworths displays the consolidated legislation and this means that where subsequent legislation has been introduced and amended the main legislation, Butterworths gives the current amended version. If you look at S310A Insolvency Act 1986 this refers to an Income Payments Order, if you look below this section at the “NOTES” you will see that this was introduced by the Enterprise Act 2002.

Another example would be s8 IA 1986; this section relates to Administrations and as you can see from the “NOTES” was introduced by the Enterprise Act. If you turn the page, in smaller font, the sections which were previously in force are detailed s8 to s27. The rules on Administrations are similar, although under the rules you will find the old rules displayed first in a smaller font s2.1 to 2.62.

The syllabus for 2012 stated the following in respect of the students using their own copy of Butterworths:

“Candidates may only bring to the examination a clean copy of Butterworths Insolvency Law Handbook. Only bound copies of the text will be permitted – photocopies of parts or sections of the book are not allowed.

For the 2012 session, examiners will use the 14th edition of the Handbook. Candidates may use a different edition of the text, but should note that the edition listed will be used to mark the assessments.

Candidates may not share their books.

The text may be annotated with underlining, sidelining and highlighting only. Page tabs may be used but must not be written on. Invigilators are instructed to check each text to ensure these regulations are adhered to.”

I would suggest you read the syllabus for 2012.

If there are other matters about Butterworths you would like me to comment on please send me an email.